Bradley Klahn plays Michael Redlicki on court 5 during the Oracle Challenger Series at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on the Rice University campus on Thursday November 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Oracle Challenger Series)
The main singles draws of the Oracle Challenger Series Houston started with 30 American athletes – 17 men and 13 women. Round 1 whittled that list down to 13, 7 men and 6 women while round 2 narrowed it even further, 4 men and 3 women. So, it’s no surprise that tomorrow’s quarterfinals will offer up 2 all-American matchups, each playing to keep their Road to Indian Wells hopes alive.
This will be the first ever matchup for North Carolina native and University of Virginia grad Thai-Son Kwiatowski and current Baylor University sophomore and New Have, CT native Roy Smith. Smith, who received a wild card into the Oracle Challenger Series Houston, has made the most of this opportunity. His path to the quarterfinals saw victories over Darian King and Harrison Adams, the first tour wins of his young career. Kwiatkowski is no stranger to the ATP Challenger Tour and played in both the Oracle Challenger Series events in Chicago and Newport Beach. Along his path to the quarterfinals Kwiatkowski eliminated his doubles partner Mitchell Krueger and number 4 seeded Paolo Lorenzi. Both young men have their eyes on the prize as they look to advance their Road to Indian Wells.
In what will be their first ever meeting, Evan Song and Bradley Klahn will battle on court for a spot in the semifinals. Neither are strangers to Oracle Challenger Series events, with Song having participated in the Indian Wells event and Klahn making it to the finals in Newport Beach and participating in the Indian Wells event, ultimately earning one of the coveted BNP Paribas Open wild cards. Song had a walkover in the first round when opponent Bjorn Fratangelo retired, before edging past Canadian Alexis Galarneau. Klahn eliminated compatriots Alexander Sarkissian and Michael Redlicki, respectively. Road to Indian Wells hopes remain high for both Song and Klahn, who will come out on top?